Austrian GP. Eighth Bagnaia and seventeenth Miller at the end of another rain-affected Day 1 in the afternoon at the Red Bull Ring
Johann Zarco sets the new all-time lap record in 1:22.827 with the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team to end the first day on top
Less than seven days after the Styrian GP, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders took to the track again at the famous Red Bull Ring circuit for Friday’s free practices for the Austrian GP, the eleventh round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Just like last week, the rain, which fell just before the start of FP2, partially disturbed the day, keeping the timesheets unchanged from the morning’s dry FP1.
Pecco Bagnaia closed the first day of the Austrian GP with the eighth fastest time overall with a quickest lap time in 1:23.903, which he obtained with used tyres during this morning’s dry session. Teammate Jack Miller ended Friday only seventeenth. As he was hoping to try his time attack in the afternoon, the Australian rider had just focused on fine-tuning his bike in FP1 without attempting to put in his best time in the morning’s session. During FP2, held in the wet, Miller instead posted the fifth fastest time, showing a quick pace despite the tricky track conditions. Both Ducati Lenovo Team riders will aim to gain direct access to Q2 by improving their best times in tomorrow’s morning FP3, which is expected to be dry.
Johann Zarco set the pace today with the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team. The Frenchman put in a great lap, setting a new all-time lap record in 1:22.827 and bettering by 167 thousandths the previous record held by teammate Jorge Martín.
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th (1’23.903)
“Despite the position, these were two really positive sessions. This morning, we were fast, finishing in the top ten without a time attack and on very used tyres, which bodes well for the race. In FP2 this afternoon, I only lapped when the track was completely wet, and even then, my pace was good. When the asphalt started to dry, I preferred to stop and not use more wet tyres. I’m satisfied and optimistic about tomorrow’s qualifying session”.
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 17th (1:24.528)
“Looking at the timesheet, it doesn’t seem to have been a positive day; actually, I’m pretty satisfied. This morning we had some small issues, and I’ve been working on the idea that I could set my best time during the afternoon session. Unfortunately, the track conditions didn’t allow me that, so I will try to improve tomorrow morning in FP3. I’m confident because I know what we need to do to be fast, and in the wet this afternoon, we showed a good pace, so all in all, it was a good day”.
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track tomorrow at 9:55 am local time for FP3, while qualifying for the Austrian GP will take place from 2:10 pm, at the end of FP4.